Machine Design

Maintenance manuals go interactive

Imagine a maintenance manual that helps diagnose problems and then guides you through repairs with vivid color animations.

A demo on the Right Hemisphere Web site shows how an interactive maintenance manual would appear in a .pdf format. The manual is for the U.S. Army's Stryker armored personnel carrier.

A Right Hemisphere module takes a CAD image and renders it several ways for different presentations and clarity.

Deep Exploration software from Right Hemisphere, Fremont, Calif. , aims to fulfill this vision using lightweight versions of 3D CAD models to populate inter-active catalogs and manuals. The company has also licensed its 3D modeling technology to Adobe for use in .pdf formats. This is intended to let users efficiently send 3D information by e-mail. But the .pdf file will maintain 3D qualities so users can still zoom in on model details, rotate models for complete inspections, and move them left, right, up, and down.

The technology also has promise for interactive learning. Statistics show that people only remember about 10% of the e-mail they read but about 90% of the interactive classes they take. For better memory retention, the software converts CAD models to graphic formats that allow highlighting of parts and components more effectively to show how parts move.

Developers can choose from several options for creating a look and feel that suits the content of each training module. Different real-time rendering styles, from standard CAD to those for illustrations, are output quickly from Right Hemisphere's Interactive Training software.

Right Hemisphere, Fremont, Calif.,

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